Atopy is a hereditary tendency that manifests itself through exaggerated response of an organism to some common stimuli from the external environmental (allergens). Manifestations can be manifest in the skin, as is the case with eczema and atopic dermatitis, respiratory organs, such as asthma or allergic rhinitis, eyes, such as allergic conjunctivitis, etc. Eczema is an exaggerated immune reaction of the skin to common allergens.
The most common eczema is atopic dermatitis, which is a chronic eczema associated with intense itching, a manifestation of rough skin that shows the tendency to crack. In addition, atopic dermatitis is characterized by dry skin, skin irritation and associated inflammation. By localization, atopic dermatitis can be all over the body or localized in individual parts of the body, most often on the face, folds of the arms, legs...
Often, bacterial (streptococcal, staphylococcal) or fungal infections are added to inflammation. Although atopy is a hereditary tendency, the influence of the environment on the occurrence of atopic dermatitis is increasingly discussed.
Statistically speaking, every fourth or fifth child suffers from atopic dermatitis. If one parent has atopic dermatitis, the probability is 30% that the child gets too, while the probability is 70% if both parents are atopic. Although genetic predisposition is important for the occurrence of this disease, there are children who are the first to manifest this disease in the family, so that we can say that atopic dermatitis is associated with the activity of genetic predisposition and external factors.
In the last 30 years the number of patients has increased 3 times. Given the rapid development of the disease, because the genetic basis could not be changed in such a short period of time, and given the fact that atopic dermatitis is more present in developed countries, the environmental impact is evidently increasing. Speaking of statistics, we can say that 60% of children with severe forms of atopic dermatitis also have allergic rhinitis or allergic asthma, 60% of children with atopic dermatitis have a problem with sleep, and in 80% of cases it occurs up to 5 years of age, more often in boys, the second child, children born in the winter months...
The encouraging fact is that of the total number of cases present in childhood, the disease is retained only in a smaller number of adults, so the incidence decreases to 1-2% of adults. An important statistical data indicates that severe forms are present in children who have been fed with artificial milk. This indicates the importance of breastfeeding, both for the general condition of the child, and also as a factor in the prevention of atopic dermatitis. In the treatment, it is essential to recognize the disease and establish a correct diagnosis. Immediately afterwards, it is important to establish a proper diet and lifestyle, in order to reduce the intake of allergens.
It is necessary to avoid factors that aggravate the state of atopic dermatitis, such as:
- Irritations due to the use of inadequate soaps, detergents, softeners ... as well as wool clothes and synthetic assets.
- Changes in temperature in winter, as well as dry air in indoors, lead to worsening of the condition.
- Stress and anxiety.
- Certain foods (cow's milk, eggs, peanuts, citrus fruits, fish ...).
- Sweating, etc.
Sweating is a special problem because sweating additionally enhances itching, while itching causes additional inflammation that additionally enhances itching...
For this reason, children should not be overdressed. As atopic dermatitis is caused by the dysfunction of the outer part of the skin (epidermis), due to the damaged epidermis, it is easier to penetrate the irritant factors, allergens and microorganisms, but also the easier loss of water, both through transpiration and sweating. For this reason, regular hydration is essential, as is the selection of proper hygiene and skin care products that can properly provide skin what is most needed at the moment, and that is water.
The products containing blueberry oil act to prevent transdermal loss of water, but contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that act anti-inflammatory and enable regeneration of Stratum corneum, the protective barrier of the skin.
To avoid irritation, bath products should contain as mild as possible foaming agents, preferably natural.
Ideally, the cosmetic line should be in the pH range of 5.0 to 5.5. It is important that the cosmetic product has an emollient effect (Shea butter, etc.). All the ingredients that lead to calming of redness, itching, inflammation... are also very useful (panthenol, oat extract, avenanthramide, blueberry oil...).
As far as paradoxically sounds, water, or frequent bathing, does not favor atopic dermatitis, because bathing dries the skin and thus aggravates the problem of dry and sensitive skin.
The time in warm baths should be as short as possible, and after that, the child should be patting, not rubbing, and wipe with a soft cotton towel and then apply body milk.
Finally, it is also important correct choice of the therapy prescribed by the doctor.
Most commonly used today are: corticosteroids, oral antihistamines, immunosuppressive therapy, phototherapy, tacrolimus, pimecrolimus...